The agent works tirelessly getting the parties to the table, the lawyer gives advice about pool compliance risk (now in the shape of a $20,000 fine). Buyer gets concerned, tells lawyer to kill the deal and to pass on the bad news, agent curses lawyer … the cycle of real estate life grinds on.
Swimming Pools as at 1 December
There are now 2 things to bear in mind when your seller client lists their property with a swimming pool:
1. compliance with the pool safety laws; and
2. pool safety certificates (or lack thereof).
The good news
Although the terms of the REIQ contract haven’t changed, the effect of the law will. From 1 December 2015 whoever owns a property with a swimming pool bears the responsibility of complying with current pool fencing legislation (and failure to comply can result in heavy fines). If the seller gives the buyer a form 36 notice of no pool safety certificate, the REIQ contract mechanism will operate as usual and assuming settlement proceeds the buyer will have a 90 day grace period after settlement within which to obtain pool safety certificate.
The bad news
What will change is the advice buyers receive from lawyers about their immediate risk of facing heavy fines (currently almost $20,000 for an individual) on and from the day of settlement. Although many buyers will make an informed decision and take a calculated risk, some may take the news badly and elect / find a way to terminate the contract.
It would be worthwhile to qualify your vendors and set their expectations about the risk of termination outlined above, and get them to literally get their back yard in order before you burn too much time finding a buyer.